Parker Duofold is a range of fountain pens produced by Parker Pen Company. The first model was produced in 1921 and was a large pen – 5.5 inches long once capped. It was made of a glowing red hard rubber and expensive at $ 7.00. The original full-size Duofold was soon joined by the smaller Duofold Junior, Duofold Special, and Lady Duofold. While the Junior and Special could also be equipped with Parker’s puck, the Lady Duofold was available with a Chatelaine, or ring for the neck. The Ring Top would also appear on Parker’s Vest Pocket models, to be attached to a watch holder. Matching pencils would come with a clip or ring, depending on the pen selected. The pen was only available in black and red hard rubber until 1926, when Parker introduced the Duofold “Unbreakable Permanite” (Permanite was Parker’s trade name for a plastic made by DuPont). The first new hue was the now traditional red, followed by the Jade Green (made to rival Sheaffer’s revolutionary Jade Radite Lifetime styli) that was not initially called Duofold, but rather the Black Tipped jade (changed shortly thereafter) . This was followed by Lapis Lazuli Blue and Mandarin Yellow.
In 1928, Modern Black and Pearl (lined black pearl) was introduced as a luxury style and Parker meant that by adding a third hood ring to the hood band instead of the usual two found at a time. In 1930, the Duofold line was streamlined with tapered ends replacing the familiar flat-top style. Additional varieties have been introduced: burgundy (red and black pearl); Modern green and pearl (lined green pearl); and finally, green and black pearl (green pearl lined with black). But in the early 1930s, the design of Duofold was considered by the manufacturer as rather old-fashioned. Parker launched its replacement, the Vacumatic, in 1933, and the Duofold line was moved to the second level, although it closely followed Vacumatic’s design with a slimmer profile, a simplified look and a vacum filling mechanism. Duofolds remained popular in Europe, being produced in the 1960s in varying sizes and shades, and was relaunched in the 1980s as Parker’s flagship offering once again. In 1988 (to celebrate the centenary of the company), Parker launched the Duofold Centennial pen series (fountain pens, rollers and pencils). Later, they introduced the Duofold International line with models that also evoked the classic Duofold design, though smaller than the Centennial. There are also differences in ink supply systems from a button fill mechanism to a cartridge / converter system.